You are reading this. I am glad. That's a good start! I've been considering how best to remedy my tendency to neglect the thoughtful personal e-mails that make any valued ones distance more bearable. As I cherish each of you deeply, I want to make sure to keep you updated on what goes on in my life in the next few months/years. This little blog may help with that. Let me make one thing clear from the beginning though. I do NOT want this to replace any personal contact you would otherwise have with me in Paraguay. Think of it as... the minimal line of communication that keeps us close enough to allow for ongoing dialogue. Like... team climbing... sort-of... or... those ropes with handles that kindergardeners use of field trips to the zoo. This is the first strand of that rope. As it is augmented with news of my adventures and adjustments in Asuncion and beyond, I ask that you would grip it between praying hands, and ask that our Father would lead me and train me through this experience. Word out of the underground church in China is that they ask for us to pray for the strengthening of their backs rather than the lightening of their load. I would be amiss to ask for less, if God is as all evidence and whole thought leads me to suspect. I choose to serve. I ask to grow, in efficacy, wisdom, finesse, and spiritual, mental, etc. fitness. He has been my best teacher thus far. I don't want to nap in class.... don't want to miss a thing... for negligence, for fear, for fatigue... for anything. Pray for me along these lines. Pray that he would grace me with situations and lessons to shape me according to His future plans. I have rarely if ever justified His investment in me... which means His heart for teaching is exactly what I desperately want to mirror by my own... a tall order, and a long bloody task. So you see why I need him so much.
So... status check:
At this point little packing is underway beyond organizing things in my head a bit. I've pulled the books I want to take with me... have ordered some wardrobe and a camera... and insodoing realized how desperately my conscience needs me to start bringing in some cashflow rather than living on loans and odd jobs. Ummm.... Paraguayan VISA came through in half the time I expected, despite some honestly stated, but glaring conflicts with the application criteria. (One of the criteria for getting the VISA was that you not apply for residency once there... an intention I directly stated) Still some paperwork to do though for the residency.
I am nearly reading to pace with my Focus on the Family Institute days. Like... 30-60 pages a day or more if I can swing it. It feels awesome. You should all try it sometime. Trying to practice some Spanish by reading Bolivian folk tales from one of Dad's old books and looking up every other word. Good excercise though. I know know that 'lagarto' means a lizard... or a slink-y man.
It doesn't quite feel real yet that I will be teaching in about a month, and in Paraguay in less than 3 weeks. Nevertheless... the water I float in is picking up speed, so I know something big and exciting is just downstream... and sweeping me toward it. I tuck my arms inside my little barrel. The fear's there. Come on... let's go.